Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Poetic Musings: Sea Foam Tanka by Chen-ou Liu

a kid trying
to kick sea foam back
where it came from
I remember the first time
a white man yelled at me

Runner-Up, Tanka Section, 2016 British Haiku Society Awards

Chen-ou Liu

Judge's Commentary: This bold and thought-provoking tanka is uncomfortable without being confrontational. It provides food for thought, in a world where it is much needed. In particular, the third line 'where it came from' is fascinating. This sentence alone, can be seen to sum up the tanka, and splendidly so. Racism is not something all of us encounter; it is multifaceted, and often hidden. Yet the poet succeeds in bringing the issue to the surface, using simple straightforward images, such as 'a white man yelled at me' and 'to kick sea foam back'. The sea in its vastness, in this context, can be seen to represent those things we cannot fully grasp or understand, something that perhaps makes us feel small, afraid even. The use of 'kick' implies aggression. Add to it, the simple recollection of an event that happened in the past – 'I remember the first time' – but is still playing on the person's mind. . . Like sea foam reaching the shore, so does a memory resurface here, prompted by the simple act of a child? This is a great example of how tanka can be used to explore personal experience in a wider cultural and political context, without losing its lyricism or reflective nature. In such, it has at its core, the power to instigate change.

a kid trying
to kick sea foam back

where it came from
I remember the first time
a white man yelled at me

... This bold and thought-provoking tanka is uncomfortable without being confrontational. It provides food for thought, in a world where it is much needed. In particular, the third line 'where it came from' is fascinating. This sentence alone, can be seen to sum up the tanka, and splendidly so...


Below  is my tanka prose written in response to the sociopolitically charged statement above:

Re-Homing
for Li Bai

go back
to where you came from ...

slowly, I push
his middle finger
to a vagabond moon

drinking alone
under the autumn moon
for a moment
I speak to it
in my mother tongue

Where is my home? Is it Taipei, capital of the Republic of China, aka Taiwan, a modern metropolis with Japanese colonial lanes, busy shopping streets and towering glass office buildings, that place where I was born and raised, that place I often complained about and wanted to flee?

Where is my home? Is it the County of Mount Dragon in Hunan Province of the People's Republic of China, my father's hometown with its rushing waterfalls and misty mountain peaks, a place I've never set foot in?

Where is my home? Is it Ajax, Ontario, a bedroom suburb of row upon row of single-family detached houses in the richest province of Canada? Here I own a front lawn, a backyard, and struggle with a life in transition and translation ...

Haibun Today, 10:4, December 2016

Note: The Republic of China (Taiwan)  is the 14th freest economy in the world, yet still not recognized by the UN.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Butterfly Dream: Hummingbird Haiku by Robert Epstein

English Original

the heights
that hummingbird attains
dad’s death day

Robert Epstein


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

那隻蜂鳥
所飛達到的高度
父親的忌日

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

那只蜂鸟
所飞达到的高度
父亲的忌日


Bio Sketch

Robert Epstein, a psychologist and haiku poet/anthologist, lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has edited four anthologies:  The Breath of Surrender; Dreams Wander On; The Temple Bell Stops; and Now This.  He has written two books of haiku:  A Walk Around Spring Lake; and Checkout Time is Noon, as well as a chapbook titled, What My Niece Said in His Head:  Haiku and Senryu

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Butterfly Dream: Boarding School Haiku by Neal Whitman

English Original

father and son
the drive to boarding school
in silence

cattails, Winter 2015

Neal Whitman


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

父親和兒子
開車去寄宿學校
一路保持沉默

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

父亲和儿子
开车去寄宿学校
一路保持沉默


Bio Sketch

Neal Whitman lives in Pacific Grove, California, with his wife, Elaine. Neal is the haiku editor for Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine and is Vice President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society.

A Room of My Own: End of Life Tanka

waiting
for the end of life
in a prison cell ...
a pool of sunlight
on the dirt floor

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Butterfly Dream: Cancer Vigil Haiku by Karen O’Leary

English Original

wax slides
off the candle
cancer vigil

bear creek haiku, March 2016

Karen O’Leary


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

蠟一滴一滴地
從蠟燭上滑落
為癌症病人守夜

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

蜡一滴一滴地
从蜡烛上滑落
为癌症病人守夜 


Bio Sketch

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, ND.  She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including, Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, Haiku Pix, Sharpening the Green Pencil 2014, Now This: Contemporary Poems of Beginnings, Renewals and Firsts, Creative Inspirations, and Poems of the World.  She currently edits an online poetry journal called Whispers

Friday, April 21, 2017

One Man's Maple Moon: Borscht Tanka by Marian Olson

English Original

Auburn curls
around her floppy straw hat
everything about her
fresh as the beets she gathers
for borscht tonight

Honorable Mention, 2016 Stanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest

Marian Olson


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

奧本髮絲
環繞她的軟草帽
關於她的一切都很新鮮
就像她為今晚的羅宋湯
所準備的甜菜

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

奥本髮丝
环绕她的软草帽
关於她的一切都很新鲜
就像她为今晚的罗宋汤
所準备的甜菜 


Bio Sketch

Marian Olson lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  She has published hundreds of poems— mainstream, haiku, senryu, haibun, and tanka—nationally and internationally for thirty years. She is the author of seven poetry books, including the first-place Snapshot winner Consider This and the HSA Merit prize winner Desert Hours.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Butterfly Dream: Plum Blossom Haiku by Mark Gilbert

English Original

plum blossom
the pert grin
of the Barbie doll

Failed Haiku, 3, March 2016

Mark Gilbert


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

梅花怒放
芭比娃娃頑童般
的笑容

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

梅花怒放
芭比娃娃顽童般
的笑容


Bio Sketch

Mark Gilbert is based in the UK and has been writing haiku for over 20 years. Examples of his work may be found in the journals Presence, Sonic Boom, Bamboo Hut and Failed Haiku. Mark spent some of his childhood in the US and this continues to influence his writing.

Butterfly Dream: Road Rage Haiku by Martha Magenta

English Original

road rage
a fly’s frantic buzzing
on the windscreen

FreeXpresSion, August 2016

Martha Magenta


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

公路上發怒
一隻蒼蠅在擋風玻璃上
瘋狂地嗡嗡作響
  
Chinese Translation (Simplified)

公路上发怒
一只苍蝇在挡风玻璃上
疯狂地嗡嗡作响


Bio Sketch

Martha Magenta lives in England, UK. Her poetry, haiku, senryu and tanka have appeared in a number of journals and magazines. She is the owner of POETS  community on G+.  She collects her published work on a blog: https://marthamagenta.com/

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Butterfly Dream: Pebbles Haiku by Joan Prefontaine

English Original

pebbles in the tide
my regrets lose
their rough edges

tinywords, 15:2, September 18, 2015

Joan Prefontaine


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

潮汐中的鵝卵石
我的遺憾已失去
粗糙的稜角

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

潮汐中的鹅卵石
我的遗憾已失去
粗糙的棱角


Bio Sketch

Joan Prefontaine lives in the mountains of central Arizona. She has taught creative writing and haiku classes at the high school and college levels. Her haiku have been published in many journals.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hot News: 66 Tanka Selected for One Man's Maple Moon, Volume III

My Dear Friends:

I'm pleased to announce the following tanka selected for One Man's Maple Moon: 66 Selected English-Chinese Bilingual Tanka, Volume Three. The anthology is scheduled to be published in early August. Each poet whose tanka is included in the anthology will receive a copy of  its e-book edition.

Please post to all appropriate venues. Your time and help would be greatly appreciated. And look forward to reading your tanka (see 2017 tanka anthology submission guidelines)

Happy Reading!

Chen-ou


Selected Tanka

you were lost
to the night as quick
as this moth
when midsummer haze
stole her compass moon

Honorable Mention, 2008 Saigyo Awards for Tanka

an'ya    

trailing the flames
of a sinking sun
heron wings
remind me
to be brave

The Bamboo Hut, Autumn 2014

Caroline Skanne

tumbling
through winter
she knew she didn't stay fit ...
a doll's life trapped
inside a young man’s body

NeverEnding Story, April 29, 2016

Sergio A. Ortiz

sensing
his loneliness
I hide my loneliness
in the tea cup
this cold afternoon

I'm a Traveler, 2011

Kozue Uzawa

f i s s u r e s
and (whose) fault lines
cracking open
we try to mend the damage
of our quaking lives

Undertow Tanka Review, 1, August 2014

Debbie Strange

migrating geese
writing cursive letters
across the sky
I finally read between
the white of your lies

Runner-up, British Haiku Society Tanka Awards, 2014-2015

Debbie Strange

some days
I regard you as the girl
with a delicate nape
at other times
the comrade I rely on

Eucalypt, 2, 2007

Aya Yuhki

no wine    no moon
still
I make my song
from this pool of lamplight
and the void around me

NeverEnding Story, February 15, 2016

Larry Kimmel

his eulogy --
these trivial thoughts trickling
through my grief,
while raindrops are handed down
from leaf to leaf to leaf

Lynx, 13:3, 1998

Larry Kimmel

mourning the loss
of loved ones ...
I find comfort
in the slow release
of autumn leaves

NeverEnding Story, February 26, 2016

Anne Curran

another city
another market
so mundane
so commonplace ...
’til the bombs fall

Eucalypt, 17,  2014

Marilyn Humbert

an orchid
beneath the vines
fails to flower --
my child snared
by mind-demons

Moonbathing, 12, Spring/Summer 2015

Marilyn Humbert

before i knew
a thing about war, or
of a bee's sting
i longed to be held
between your breasts

Biding Time: Selected Poems 2001-2013

H. Gene Murtha

ferris wheel,
go round and round!
memories last
one day for you
a lifetime for me

Ferris Wheel, 2006

Kyoko Kuriki

humming something
strange to me
my mother is somewhere else
the steady fall
of hibiscus blooms

All The Shells: 2014 TSA Members' Anthology

LeRoy Gorman

dwarfing a factory
built when Victoria was queen
a digital goddess
pitches underwear
for a perfect world

"The Garage, Not the Garden," Atlas Poetica, 2014

LeRoy Gorman

empty beds
in the old house
at night
the furnace whispers
its litany of names

Gusts, 16, Fall/Winter 2012

Brian Zimmer

the doctor tells us
of the baby's heart murmur --
outside the hospital window
snow half way
down the distant mountain

Honorable Mention, 2006 TSA International Tanka Contest

Michael Dylan Welch

lost
in the sharpening
of my words,
I need a strong blade
for this broken pencil

Selected Tanka, Gusts, 22, Fall/Winter 2015

Sanford Goldstein

you speak of grief
as if it were punishment
a curse, a blight
I sing it as a lullaby
for the child I never held

A Hundred Gourds, 4:2, March 2015

Sonam Chhoki

grandma tucks
his old hat
in her cedar chest
unable to pack
grief with it

Moonbathing, 11, Fall/Winter 2014

Karen O’Leary

this war ...
what colour
are the shadows
of guns
or the tears of a widow?

Moonbathing, 11, Fall/Winter 2014

Keitha Keyes

sometimes
wishing the time away    
sometimes
wanting it to stand still
… a river flows to the sea

Cattails, January 2015

Keitha Keyes

hush at the pond
where you spent many days
angling
your loneliness is still there
among the weeping willows

First Pprize, 5th Kokako International Tanka Competition

Djurdja Vukelic Rozic

Milky Way swirling
in martini glasses
with each sip
we swallow
star after star

A Solitary Woman, 2013

Pamela A. Babusci

when the sun sinks low
refugees' shadows conglobulate
over the wired border ...
a tender lullaby
softens the wind

Back Cover Tanka, Ribbons, 12:1, Winter 2016

Lavana Kray

linden blossoms
softly falling between
our silences --
we are but two strangers
sitting on the same bench

First Prize, 2015 UHTS Fleeting Words Contest

Steliana Cristina Voicu

at day’s end
cows and their shadows
drift in the fields . . .
grazing on grass
tinged with gold

Eucalypt, 18, 2015

Simon Hanson

Mother’s Day
at the seniors’ home
the old ladies
dressed up, waiting
for kids who aren’t coming

NeverEnding Story, May 8, 2016

Ignatius Fay

she'd have been
twelve today ...
her hello kitty mug
warming my hands
on this winter morning

NevenEdning Story, May 13, 2016

Jackson Smith

out of the flames
still tasting the ash
a Phoenix ...
how quickly the old life crumbles
scattered by wind and time

NeverEnding Story, July 17, 2016

Rebecca Drouilhet

the calligraphy
of winter branches
under blue sky
everything he needs to say
in the touch of his hands

GUSTS, 20, Fall/Winter 2014

Susan Constable

the veena
mom played everyday --
an off note
as my fingers brush
years of dust away

Editor’s Choice Tanka, Cattails, May 2015

Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

riding our bikes
alongside factories --
we watch the sun
set on rows
of broken windows

NeverEnding Story, June 14, 2016

Robyn Cairns

in Mother's attic
boxes of souvenirs --
which one holds
the pieces of my heart
torn apart by bullies?

Moonbathing, Fall/Winter 2014

Joyce S. Greene

in the shadow
of the giant cottonwood
your empty chair
my fingertips search the bark
our initials barely there

Blithe Spirit, 25:4, 2015

Marilyn Fleming

his first move
in forty-four years
furniture
bound like mummies
in swathes of plastic wrap

Eucalypt, 19, November 2015

Janet Lynn Davis

his tragic crash
headlines for two days
then is displaced
by a campus rape
and life continues

Bent Arm for a Pillow, 2016

Naomi Beth Wakan

being a German
the privilege
of pronouncing
Beethoven and Dachau
without an accent

The Tanka Journal, 47, 2015

Tony Boehle

white clouds
blue sky
quilting by
wind
and contrails   

Gusts, 20,  Fall/Winter 2014

Edna Searles

always beyond
the circle of her bedside lamp
darkness
but on the hospice wall
she sees a painted sunrise

cattails, September 2015

Maria Tomczak

in the supplicant
gaze of this deer
the eyes
of all my lost dead
looking back at me

The Tanka Journal, 40, 2012

Susan Mary Wade

seeking the past
I look through old photos
outside my window
clouds snow bare trees
the world in black and white

Gusts, 11, Spring/Summer 2010

Munira Judith Avinger

September rain
and a few wine-dark leaves
tumbling
into a day
of shared loss

Moonbathing, 9, Fall/Winter 2013

Carol Purington

honking geese
pass over rooftops
same time each evening --
such loneliness
in close formations

Blithe Spirit, 25:1, 2015

Tim Gardiner

this morning
whiff of jasmine
in my room --
amid my silence
his last words still echo

The Bamboo Hut, 2:1, 2014

Archana Kapoor Nagpal

these eyes
staring back from the mirror
no longer mine...
when did I start living
in denial?

Chrysanthemum, October 2014

Shloka Shankar

We talk about
which one of us will stay
who will go
the stone in my heart
when did it become my heart

Fire Pearls, 2, 2013

Sylvia Forges-Ryan

the stillness inside
the stillness of snow
falling on snow
nothing left to try
but the letting go                             

Member's Choice Tanka, Ribbons, 7:4, 2011

James Chessing

her to do list
so much longer than mine --
here I sit
biting an apple
down to the core

American Tanka, 25, 2015

Lesley Anne Swanson

The wind spins
leaves on the birch
faces
      of sorrow
faces of light

NeverEnding Story, October 19, 2016

Mark Gordon

observe the butterfly
under glass
a garden
eternal
in its silence

still 4: three, 2000

ai li

the fog doesn't
come on little cat feet,
Mr Sandburg;
it shuffles in the wake
of the minimum-waged                            

A Hundred Gourds, 5:1, December 2015

Bob Lucky

this beach
charges me nothing
to walk among
the sea rack and
shards of memory

Heron Sea,Short Poems of the Chesapeake Bay, 2007

M. Kei

in the park
a butterfly shadow
on the marigold
my niece's first birthday
without her father

NeverEnding Story, November 15, 2016

Nicholas Klacsanzky

a world
beyond thought
the river flows
into light
like a swan

Presence, 56, 2016

A A Marcoff

all my life
I expect no grand bouquet
yet wish for
someone to greet me
with a single flower

Scribblings Award, Eucalypt, 14, 2013

Kiyoko Ogawa

how can I be
so angry
over her remark ...
look long in the mirror
see my father staring back

NeverEnding Story, December 15, 2016

Thomas Martin

the slump
of fallen wires
after the storm
I carry the moon
on my back

A Hundred Gourds, 4:3, June 2015

Mary Davila

by the fountain
with a ring encircling
my finger ...
all I knew then
was the word forever

The Bluebird’s Cry, 2016

Christine L. Villa

beside me
an illusory chair --
no more nights now
of waiting
and longing for him

Ferris Wheel, 2006

Tamiko Ohnishi

life’s rough and tumble
give and take
somehow
my heart becalmed
by the rhythm of the sea

Tanka Poets On Site, September 6, 2015

Michele L. Harvey

the disease
spreading inside my friend
like a white fern
made of frost
on the window glass

NeverEnding Story, January 29, 2017

Patricia Prime

endless rain ...
at the sudden news
of your death
I remember the dove
in your last painting

NeverEnding Story, February 10, 2017

Marion Clarke

a dead skunk’s
open mouth drinks
the cold rain
in a marshy field
I wait for honeysuckle

NeverEnding Story, February 25, 2017

Anna Cates

a year has passed
since the end of the war --
living longer
I fear the world,
and death, too

The Prism of Mokichi, 2013

Saito Mokichi

Monday, April 17, 2017

Butterfly Dream: Old Age Home Haiku by Padmini Krishnan

English Original

old age home
her eyes follow
a queue of ants

Padmini Krishnan


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

老人之家
她的目光跟隨著
一排螞蟻

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

老人之家
她的目光跟随着
一排蚂蚁


Bio Sketch

Padmini Krishnan lives in Singapore with her husband and baby girl. Her work has been published in The Heron's Nest, Shamrock. Wild Plum, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online and A Hundred Gourds.

One Man's Maple Moon: Rice Batter Tanka by Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

English Original

little feet
dipped in rice batter --
years now
since you walked away
with our laughter

Skylark’s Nest Winner, Skylark, 3:1, Summer 2015

Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

一雙小腳
浸泡在米糊裡 --
自從你離開
並帶走我們的歡笑
幾年已經過去了

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

一双小脚
浸泡在米糊里 --
自从你离开
并带走我们的欢笑
几年已经过去了


Bio Sketch

Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy is a psychiatrist from Bengaluru India,  living in England. A trained vocalist and a composer in Indian classical music, he writes in Kannada, Sankethi, Tamil and English languages. His haikai writings have been published in reputed journals and anthologies and won prizes, worldwide. He is currently the Editor of Blithe Spirit, journal of The British Haiku Society.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Room of My Own: The Racial Politics of Yin and Yang

chill in the air
two blue-eyed boys with toy guns
shadowing a black girl

a blonde clutches her purse
when walking past three black youths
sultry night

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Butterfly Dream: Carousel Haiku by Roberta Beary

English Original

carousel moving through my childhood

Rattle, 51, 2016

Roberta Beary


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

旋轉木馬穿越我的童年

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

旋转木马穿越我的童年


Bio Sketch

Roberta Beary is the haibun editor at Modern Haiku. Her bestselling collection The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press) won a Poetry Society of America finalist award. Her haibun collection Deflection (Accents Publishing) won the Eric Hoffer and Touchstone finalist awards. Follow her on twitter @shortpoemz.

Friday, April 14, 2017

One Man's Maple Moon: Childhood Wounds Tanka by Pamela A. Babusci

English Original

as you undress me
you can never remove
all my childhood wounds
i keep hidden
even from myself

A Solitary Woman 2013

Pamela A. Babusci


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

當你脫下我的衣服
你永遠不可能清除
我所有的童年傷口
我甚至將它們隱藏
免於自己有所知悉

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

当你脱下我的衣服
你永远不可能清除
我所有的童年伤口
我甚至将它们隐藏
免於自己有所知悉


Bio Sketch

Pamela A. Babusci  is an internationally award winning haiku, tanka poet and haiga artist. Some of her awards include: Museum of Haiku Literature Award, International Tanka Splendor Awards, First Place Yellow Moon Competition (Aust) tanka category,  First Place Kokako Tanka Competition,(NZ) First Place Saigyo Tanka Awards (US), Basho Festival Haiku Contests (Japan).  Pamela has illustrated several books, including: Full Moon Tide: The Best of Tanka Splendor Awards, Taboo Haiku, Chasing the Sun, Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, and A Thousand Reasons 2009. Pamela was the founder and now is the solo Editor of Moonbathing: a journal of women’s tanka; the first all women’s tanka journal in the US.